Many cannabis business owners wonder how to legally purchase cannabis seeds in the U.S. and beyond. Find your answers here at FindLaw. In response to an attorney inquiry, the DEA recently confirmed that seeds and other parts of the cannabis plant with less than 0.3 percent THC (the federal limit separating hemp and marijuana) have been legal since 2018’s Farm Bill ended federal hemp prohibition. Can you get in trouble for ordering cannabis seeds in the US? Can a potential cannabis grower get in legal trouble for ordering cannabis seeds online to the United States? Where can you safely
How to Legally Purchase Cannabis Seeds in the United States
Thinking about starting your own cannabusiness? You are not alone. From CBD to medical marijuana to edibles, legal cannabis has become one of the fastest-growing industries in the United States, with few signs of slowing down any time soon.
If your business will include cannabis growing or cultivation, then you are probably wondering how to get your hands on weed seeds. legally. Before taking that step, though, make sure your business has the necessary license to operate legally in your state.
First and Foremost: Know Your State Laws
State law governs if and how you can operate your cannabis growing business, and each state takes a slightly different approach. Your state may offer a large number of permits with few prerequisites, a small number of permits with an extensive application process, or something in between.
Here are a couple of other factors to keep in mind about the legality of cannabis seeds:
- State law treats growing marijuana for selling purposes differently from growing marijuana for personal use. Your state may allow you to grow a limited number of cannabis plants for personal use without a license. For example, Colorado residents over age 21 can grow up to six plants, with as many as three plants flowering at one time.
- Cannabis seeds can often be purchased legally for uses other than growing marijuana such as fishing bait, bird food, and preservation. The government recognizes that cannabis seeds have other uses beyond just growing more marijuana.
In addition to studying your state’s regulations, you should also join local cannabusiness groups and meet with a local cannabis business attorney for assistance. There is no such thing as going into the marijuana business too prepared. Once you are ready to take the step of legally buying cannabis seeds, you have a few options to choose from.
It’s Best to Shop Local, but Buying Online Is an Option
If you live in a state that permits the sale of marijuana seeds, your best bet is to shop locally for high-quality seeds. This means visiting a dispensary, local farmers market, or seed company in your state to make your purchase. There, you can get the in-person help you need to make your purchase legally.
It is also an option to buy cannabis seeds online from an online seed bank and then have the seeds shipped to you, so long as you are abiding by state law. The risk here is that your package could still be confiscated. While it is unlikely that you would face criminal charges, there is no guarantee because of the way federal law treats marijuana products.
Can I Buy Cannabis Seeds in Other States or Countries?
You shouldn’t have any trouble buying cannabis seeds in another state or country if it’s legal there. It’s bringing the seeds back to your home state that can get you into trouble.
In the United States, cannabis seeds cannot cross state lines because marijuana products are still illegal under federal law. Though rare, transporting the products across state lines could result in federal criminal charges. This is true even if you are purchasing cannabis seeds in a state that authorizes it and entering a state that also authorizes it.
The same is true for buying cannabis seeds in another country. It may sound like a great idea to buy cannabis seeds while visiting one of the world-renowned marijuana seed banks that exist in places such as the Netherlands or the United Kingdom. But when you re-enter the U.S. with your goods, Customs and Border Protection will seize any seeds they find, even if your plane landed in a state where they are legal. Again, it goes back to marijuana being illegal under federal law.
How Much Do Cannabis Seeds Cost?
How much you will pay for cannabis seeds depends on the strain of marijuana you buy. Typically, a pack of 10 or 12 seeds starts at around $40. You can expect to pay up to $500 for high-end strains. Again, it is important to only buy cannabis seeds from a legal and reputable seed bank or dispensary — and only if you know you are abiding by state law.
Legal Help for Cannabusiness Entrepreneurs
Cannabis law is an ever-evolving tangle of state and federal regulations that often contradict one another. Additionally, the cannabis industry is very new, and still illegal under federal law. For these reasons, it’s important to seek the advice of a business attorney well-versed in cannabis law so that your venture starts out on the right track and you avoid legal problems.
Ask a Stoner: Buying Weed Seeds Is Legal Now?
Dear Stoner: I read a headline that the DEA had just now legalized weed seeds, but I’ve been ordering them to my house in the Springs for almost a decade. Have I been breaking federal drug laws this whole time?
Dear Mike: Short answer: Yes. But you can breath easy now, thanks to hemp.
I technically break federal drug laws almost every day after work and pretty much every weekend. We all do if we smoke, grow or possess cannabis, even in states that have legalized the plant. Federal pot laws had prohibited seeds, too, but prosecuting online seed banks in legal states or other countries was low on the Drug Enforcement Administration’s to-do list. Now that hemp is legal at the federal level, that federal priority has been crossed off entirely.
In response to an attorney inquiry, the DEA recently confirmed that seeds and other parts of the cannabis plant with less than 0.3 percent THC (the federal limit separating hemp and marijuana) have been legal since 2018’s Farm Bill ended federal hemp prohibition. Hemp and marijuana are the same plant with different THC amounts in their blooming flowers, but neither hemp nor marijuana seeds exceed the 0.3 percent THC limit, so there’s virtually no legal difference in them at such an early stage. The DEA also confirmed that it would have nailed you had you been caught before hemp was legalized and that the resulting plants from said seeds are still quite illegal, so count your blessings.
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Can you get in trouble for ordering cannabis seeds in the US?
Can a potential cannabis grower get in legal trouble for ordering cannabis seeds online to the United States? Where can you safely buy marijuana seeds in the USA?
Can you get in trouble for buying marijuana seeds online?
I am not a lawyer or legal expert so please take anything I saw with a grain of salt. However, I’ve been growing since 2008 and running GrowWeedEasy.com to teach other people how to grow weed since 2010. Despite talking to literally thousands of growers who’ve ordered cannabis seeds online, I’ve never heard of a single example of someone getting in trouble with the law due to it. Not even in states where growing weed is strictly illegal, and not even as a secondhand story about someone else. It may be technically illegal to own cannabis seeds, but there don’t seem to be many prosecutions against cannabis seeds in the United States.
People rarely get in trouble for ordering cannabis seeds online.
However, that doesn’t mean there’s no risk.
You never know when it comes to the American legal system, but from what I’ve seen, your risks with ordering cannabis seeds online are typically social and involve growing as opposed to the actual ordering process. When growers get in trouble, it’s nearly always due to the wrong person finding out about the grow. Whether it’s a nosy neighbor, your plants smelling up the neighborhood, or telling someone you grow weed. But when it comes to seeds, don’t tell your friends you plan to buy seeds because if you suddenly start showing up with a ton of amazing weed they’re going to realize you’re growing it. So if you plan to order seeds online, keep it to yourself.
How to protect yourself when ordering seeds online
- [Most Important] Order from a trusted cannabis seed bank that sells good genetics. Don’t get scammed with bad seeds or someone who takes your money and doesn’t send anything.
- Don’t tell anyone in your life that you plan to buy cannabis seeds or grow. They will remember your words when you suddenly start overflowing with dank weed and realize you’re growing.
- (Optional) Pay with crypto like Bitcoin or Ethereum or another anonymous payment method (I personally order with my regular bank debit card but I live in California)
- (Optional) Order to a second home address if you have one, but this is likely unnecessary.
Where to order seeds safely in the United States?
Remember when it comes to buying seeds: Real seed businesses don’t contact you. They let you contact them. If anyone messages you to sell you seeds on social media, look out! It’s possible they will take your payment and send nothing. Always take a second to think before sending money to anyone, especially if they contact you (whether by DM, text message, phone call, email, etc.).
Recommended Marijuana Seed Sources
These sources have gotten great reviews from our readers:
– California, United States (I Love Growing Marijuana) – California, United States – Shipped out of the UK
Seed Supreme has the best cannabis seed selection of these options. They carry many unique strains from old classics to trendy newer genetics.
The Platinum Cookies plant I’m growing now from Seed Supreme is the one pictured here in the middle. So far it’s the fastest-growing plant in the tent (check out the grow journal in progress).
Ultimate Auto has the best yields of any auto-flowering strain I’ve grown so far. This plant produced over 4 oz per plant even with only a corner of the grow tent to itself.
The biggest downside to ILGM as a seed source is their website can be difficult to navigate and find the strains you’re looking for. Their strain search is wonky and sometimes the search results are unexpected. But hey, you may find new and interesting strains that way.
MSNL Seeds was founded by a geneticist and they only carry hand-selected strains. They have a relatively small strain selection but the yields, bud quality, and plant growth are excellent. Tends to be a little cheaper than other trustworthy seed banks.
I have had amazing luck with MSNL’s autoflowering strains, like this Auto Amnesia grown in a mini tent under a 100W LED grow light.